How to Chrome?

Mini Bike & Go-Kart Parts

mustangfrank

Well-Known Member
#22
Finished polishing my tank it started as a rusted mess.I do my chrome in bundles as the price is the same just pay min dip charge, so I cleaned and polished some bonanza shocks to go with it.took them over this morning 5 minutes away ready for pick up 4 hours later
Looks good, smart doing your own pre-polishing. Mind sharing what that cost to have plated?
 
#23
Looks good, smart doing your own pre-polishing. Mind sharing what that cost to have plated?
100 cdn 75 usd if I had a few more items would be the same cost .He gives me commercial rate ,60,000 square ft building before covid had about 60 employees he was doing thousands of pieces a day longest wait three days and used him for over 15 years,
 
#24
There is no replacement for chrome. Period.

The OP asked about chrome plating at home, and Tom S gave the correct answer. You can do "anything" at home if you are smart enough to use Google. That doesn't mean you should.

Alternative methods of steel coating all have their places. But if it needs to be chrome, it needs to be chrome. This is what a chrome fender looks like.

View attachment 271465
Absolutlely positively correct. Just got my forks/handlebars and sissy bar back from the platers. There is nothing like the drool-inspiring affect of real chrome plating. Period.
 

Attachments

Oldyellow

Active Member
#25
I don’t think the fork neck springs were ever chromed but instead Zinc plated and polished. I plate and polish my own and when I strip them there’s no evidence of copper or nickel. Also, most 50 year old springs aren’t real rusty which leads me to believe zinc. Plating shops wanted $100 to zinc plate so i decided to invest and do them myself. I’m pretty happy with how they turn out.
 

Attachments

#26
I don’t think the fork neck springs were ever chromed but instead Zinc plated and polished. I plate and polish my own and when I strip them there’s no evidence of copper or nickel. Also, most 50 year old springs aren’t real rusty which leads me to believe zinc. Plating shops wanted $100 to zinc plate so i decided to invest and do them myself. I’m pretty happy with how they turn out.
Yeah, a buddy of mine has been playing around with nickel plating, maybe I'll give that a shot.
 

Oldyellow

Active Member
#28
Remember that if you are removing and re-plating a spring you must post plate bake to remove hydrogen that was introduced during the process.
If you don't you run the risk of the spring breaking.
Regards
Joe51[/QUOTE
Hydrochloric acid removes the plating. A degreaser, rinse and store in alcohol until ready to plate. The zinc is applied by electrolysis in a solution of zinc, sugar and vinegar. Polish with toothpaste. Where’s the hydrogen come from Joe? Don’t want broken springs they’re too hard to come by. Help me out here pls.
 
#29
Hello,
It naturally develops from both the stripping process and re-plating process. The harder the material going through this process the more risk you face. It is wise to bake the part after stripping and after plating to reduce the risk. Bake temperatures range from
300 deg to 375 deg typically. Time would be 1 - 23 hours per process step. The harder the material the longer you would bake. There are charts out there that gives you a suggested time and temp based on material hardness. This can be measured by any shop that heat treats parts. Maybe Century spring can give you a hardness range of coil spring type materials. I would also ask them what temperature to avoid so the spring does not take a set. I don't think that even at 375 it would be an issue. Safer to bake longer at the higher end of the temp range if you don't know what the spring material is. A plating shop can also help guide you.
Regards,
Joe
 

Oldyellow

Active Member
#31
FYI.. look up ASTM B 850. That is the guide for baking. shows hardness and tensile guidelines.
Thats some great information Joe. I’ve never seen or read anything about baking before plating until now. Consider a do it yourself video geared to the amateur plater. I’ll certainly check it out. Funny how stuff is never as easy as it seems. Thank you
 
#32
Most of the cost of chrome is the prep and polishing it accounts for 90% of the cost,I polish all my own parts and use a large industrial plater and just pay a dip charge my chrome cost is very low,this tank was a rusted mess I have a lot of hours in it and still needs a few more,I dont powder coat because you still see repair grind marks rust pits.The rupp rim was too rough to chrome heavy coat of primer and spot putty and chrome spray can called Spaz Stix you use a blocker .mirror chrome and clear,It has nice reflection and look better then powder coating,but still not chrome
So if I get the some parts plated at a plate shop, is it better to just have them dip it and be charged for that instead of being charged for the entire process? I'm planning on maybe trying to get some parts taken to a plate shop to get chromed and want to know if it is the most cost efficient way to go. I would like to have advice on how to polish and buff after they get dipped because this is a new area for me.
 
#33
You will have to make sure the place you take your parts too will just dip it for you its there place and there call.The polishing is done before chrome ,it has to almost look like chrome before your finished and it takes hours all pits and scratches will show up if not removed,its a long process and you need lots of patience
 
#34
...,it has to almost look like chrome before your finished and it takes hours all pits and scratches will show up if not removed,its a long process and you need lots of patience
As with painting, prep is everything. I've done a bunch of zinc plating in my garage. My old bead blast cabinet and wire wheels of various sizes have been getting a real workout.

I recently purchased some blue and yellow chromate concentrate from Caswell Plating to apply a final finish. It is supposed to improve the appearance and corrosion resistance of the plated parts. Another month or more may pass before I use it. I will report on the outcome.

Caswell Plating Blue Chromate
 
#35
As with painting, prep is everything. I've done a bunch of zinc plating in my garage. The old bead blast cabinet and wire wheels of various sizes have been getting a real workout.

I recently purchased some blue and yellow chromate concentrate from Caswell Plating to apply a final finish. It is supposed to improve the appearance and corrosion resistance of the plated parts. Another month or more may pass before I use it. I will report on the outcome.

Caswell Plating Blue Chromate
I have been debating one of those Caswell zinc plating kits.... ever try the nickel?
 
#36
I have been debating one of those Caswell zinc plating kits.... ever try the nickel?
I have not tried plating anything other than zinc. Maybe someday.

I did not buy a plating kit. I use a recipe for a home made process that I found on another forum. It's just an expansion on an old middle-school science project and it works great. Google "Turning Pennies Into Silver" to see how it works.

This old rusty washer was my first attempt/test. You can see how the rough surface left by the rust is visible through the plating. It would look much better if polished first.





 
#37
I just sand & polish all my stuff, as I really dig the natural hues ect. of all polished metals.
3M- 3000 grit foam backed sheets work excellent for final prep polishing, before using like mother mag wheel polish ect. , & or a good carnauba wax,, for a final.
Ultra fine steel wool works good in the process also.
 

Top